Sisi to assume responsibility of Nile river issues: Irrigation Minister
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam - AFP
By AYA IBRAHIM

Cairo: President Sisi has assumed responsibility for issues concerning the domestic share of Nile water and solving the country’s water crisis, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hossam El Din Moghazy said Thursday, reported London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.

“ Egypt is now prioritizing the Nile water crisis,” Moghazy said, adding that many actors are working now on solving this issue.

Egyptian- Ethiopian ties have strained since Addis Ababa began construction on the Renaissance Dam, which Cairo fears would substantially harm its share of the Nile. The issue of the dam was a political albatross for Morsi, who was unable to break the political impasse.

On Tuesday, the African Union Peace and Security Council unanimously agreed to end the suspension of Egypt’s membership as well as to restore its seat in all the activities of the African Union after being suspended following the July 3 ouster of Mohamed Morsi. Many figures have expressed the hope that Egypt’s restored place in the African Union may assist negotiation on the issue of the dam.

Egypt’s Cabinet decided Thursday during the meetings of the water resources ministers of the Nile Basin countries held in Khartoum that Kenya will be the executive director of the Entebbe based Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Secretariat in Uganda, successor to Ethiopia, Youm7 reported Friday.

The Nile River Basin encompasses ten countries: Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, and Kenya, with an area of 3.3 million square kilometers.

“Ethiopia is keen on maintaining ties with Egypt based on mutual interests,” Ethiopian Ambassador to Egypt Mahmoud Dardir in a Thursday phone interview  on al- Tahrir TV channel, adding that  the intensive communications between his country and Egypt would serve the interests of both.

There is a “strong and sincere desire among  the members of the Nile Basin countries to allow Egypt to resume its activities, after a one year suspension,” the Sudanese state-owned Sudan News Agency (SUNA) said in a Thursday evening press statement.

“The coming phase will see more cooperation between Egypt and other African countries,” Ahmed Bahaa El-din, head of the Egyptian delegation to meetings of the water resources ministers of the Nile Basin countries said, reported MENA.

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